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Three named to new professorships

Professors W. Eric L. Grimson, Roger G. Mark and Mriganka Sur have been named to newly established professorships at MIT.

Dr. Grimson, professor of computer science and engineering and associate director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, has been named as the first Bernard Gordon Professor of Medical Engineering for a five-year term. The chair was established this year by Bernard M. Gordon (SB 1948, SM), chairman and CEO of Analogic Corp., a manufacturer of computed tomography systems for medical and industrial imaging.

The purpose of the new professorship is to recognize outstanding faculty in the School of Engineering who are doing research leading to the development of electromedical products and systems to benefit human health. In 1978, Mr. Gordon established the Bernard M. Gordon Adjunct Professorship, intended to expose students to the product-development process and encourage the appointment of faculty with extensive industrial experience. That chair is currently held by Adjunct Professor G. David Forney.

Professor Grimson's research focuses on medical imaging, object recognition, image database and video indexing, and visual activity learning. His recent work in enhanced-reality image projection for minimally invasive surgery has led to neurosurgical guidance and navigation systems which have been used in more than 100 neurosurgery cases, including tumor resection and epilepsy surgery. He is co-principal investigator of a recently established NSF engineering research center in computer-assisted surgical interventions (MIT Tech Talk, September 30). He holds the BSc from the University of Regina (1975) and the PhD from MIT (1980).

Professor Mark of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) has been selected as the inaugural holder of the Distinguished Professorship in Health Sciences and Technology. His research interests include physiological signal processing, cardiovascular system modeling and intelligent patient monitoring.

He received the SB in electrical engineering from MIT in 1960, the MD from Harvard Medical School in 1965 and the PhD in electrical engineering from MIT in 1966. Following a residency at Boston City Hospital, he served as a captain in the Medical Corps of the US Air Force from 1967-69.

Professor Mark joined the faculty as an assistant professor of electrical engineering in 1969, was promoted to associate professor in 1972 and professor in 1989. He served as co-director of HST from 1985-95 and has been the Grover M. Hermann Professor of HST since 1990.

Professor Sur, head of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Teuber Scholar in the Brain Sciences, has been selected as the inaugural holder of the Sherman Fairchild Professorship in Neurobiology for a five-year term. The chair was established by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation in 1994 as part of the foundation's gift to MIT to create the center for Learning and Memory.

Professor Sur's research interests are in the development and plasticity of the thalamus and cortex; organization of the visual system; and cellular, computational and systems-based approaches to cortical plasticity and function. His laboratory is currently studying the development and plasticity of connections between the retina and thalamus, and the plasticity of processing circuits in the adult visual cortex.

Professor Sur came to MIT as an associate professor of neuroscience in 1986 after three years on the faculty of the Yale University School of Medicine. He holds the BTech (1974) from the Indian Institute of Technology, and the MS (1975) and PhD (1978) from Vanderbilt University. At MIT, he was promoted to the rank of full professor in 1993, associate department head in 1994 and head in 1998.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 28, 1998.

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